The Palestinian Authority is planning a serie of events to take place worldwide over the course of the year leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration.
Taysir Khalid, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said at the meeting about the activities that “The Balfour Declaration is in essence a colonialist project.”
In the meeting held Monday with Palestinian Authority officials, journalists, activists, the launch of a “massive campaign” was discussed, including “a variety of events which will continue throughout the entire year to make the international community, and especially Britain, confront their historical responsibilities and call on them to atone for this major crime committed, and raise the issue of the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people,”Qudsnet said.
Khalid stressed “the need for the participation of all our communities, especially those in the occupied territories of 1948 [Israel], the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza and the Palestinian people living abroad.”
He went on to call on “all political forces to address their audiences and supporters to coordinate their efforts abroad.”
According to the report, the activities and events will begin on November 2, and carry on until November 2, 2017.
The Balfour declaration was a 1917 letter from United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour declaring that the British government “views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” This was the first official recognition of the Zionist endeavor by a major world leader.
By declaring Britain to be Zionism’s patron, Balfour’s signature completed a process begun twenty years earlier at the First Zionist Congress, held in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland. The Balfour Declaration led the League of Nations to entrust the United Kingdom with the Palestine Mandate in 1922.
Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, a day before the British mandate was set to expire.
The Palestinian Authority in July asked the Arab League for support in filing a lawsuit against the British Government for publishing the Balfour Declaration in 1917.
Speaking on behalf of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas at the Arab League’s annual summit, the PA’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki asked the summit to “help us bring a suit against the British government” over the Balfour declaration “after which hundreds of thousands of Jews arrived from Europe and other places in Palestine at the expense of our people.”